July First Thursday/Friday Gallery Guide

Featuring 'Continuous Glissando' at Hap, PDX Contemporary, Nationale and more

While I know many of you will be busy with BBQ’s, camping, hiking and the other myriad ways we enjoy the outdoors here in Portland, I don’t want you to miss out on the great art we have coming to Portland this month so here’s the July installment of my totally biased gallery guide. Keep in mind that with the 4th of July falling on Friday this year, east side galleries have opted to push their receptions back to the 11th and 18th.

For those of you prone to reflecting on our relationship to technology I want to point you in the direction of Hap GalleryContinuous Glissando is a solo exhibition of work by Joshua Tree-based artist Darren Goins, and will display an aesthetic cultivated from computers and digital culture.  The opening reception will be Thursday, July 3 from 6 to 9 pm, and the show will be on display through August 2.

Inside Circle (Vitruvian Man), 2012. Carved acrylic panel, acrylic, neon and transformer, 42 in. dia.

Inside Circle (Vitruvian Man), 2012. Carved acrylic panel, acrylic, neon and transformer, 42 in. dia.

I was drawn by the title of the show, Continuous Glissando, because it is a musical term I had to ask a composer friend to explain to me, a change in pitch subtle enough not to be recognized as such by the audience – thanks to how we hear sound. The visual equivalent is an MC Escher staircase that continuously descends without getting any lower. Therefore a continuous glissando is measurable change imperceptible to our limited perception.

This then becomes a powerful metaphor for how culture evolves dramatically without us noticing change on a day-to-day scale. Looking back of the course of our lives it’s easy to write think-pieces about how the children are growing up differently – but those same divergences aren’t apparent when we get excited over the newest smartphone or web app.  Even if mulling over technology and society aren’t your thing, Goins’ brightly colored paintings and sculptures of neon, plastic, and laminate, use expressive lines and shapes recognizable to anyone familiar with looking not just at, but through, a computer screen.

If you find you like this work, but haven’t ever considered yourself a collector, don’t despair.  Hap is continuing its commitment to making fine art accessible to younger collectors by commissioning a limited edition run of work from Darren, which will be available for under a hundred dollars.


Matthieu Ricard "The Jango Thang plain and the Jomolhari glacier" Bhutan, 2007 c-print 6 1/4" x 9 1/2"

Matthieu Ricard,”The Jango Thang plain and the Jomolhari glacier” Bhutan, 2007, c-print. 6 1/4″ x 9 1/2″

PDX ContemporaryMountain

Do we imagine extreme landscapes difficult to comprehend in a manner similar to how we conceive of the internet? Mountain is a group show artists’ work exploring the mountain as a metaphor for the age of information, or the internet as landscape.






Marshall Scheider, Untitled, 2014, digital ink jet, 11 x 16”

Marshall Scheider, Untitled, 2014, digital ink jet, 11 x 16”

Nationale –  Light Years

A group show of contemporary American photography highlighting the binaries of a vast nation. Through these  lenses “the roads still beckon, dusty motels and suburban homes still shelter the weary, and, despite our technological prowess, family, religion, and tradition still carry us forward.” The opening reception will be Thursday, July 18,  along with their upstairs neighbors Adams and Ollman



Katie Tor, Still Life with My Little Pony, 2014; 3D render, pigment print on paper; 47 x 40 inches

Katie Torn, Still Life with My Little Pony, 2014; 3D render, pigment print on paper; 47 x 40 inches

Upfor Gallery –  The End of Flutter Valley

Katie Torn’s work in digital video and print work draw from pop and consumer culture. Often making reference to the human figure, her vision is of a virtual natural world where organic and synthetic materials have melded. In Torn’s fantastical worlds the formation of identity is bound to the plastic commodities that surround us from childhood.







Betty Merken Impromptu Ultramarine  2014 oil on canvas 60" x 68"

Betty Merken
Impromptu Ultramarine 2014
oil on canvas
60″ x 68″

Laura Russo GalleryGravity and Whispers: Paintings and Monotypes

A solo show of new work by Seattle artist Betty Merken, and continues her explorations of color, structure, and gesture, while breathing new life into her familiar vernacular as an abstract painter and printmaker. In addition Portland based ceramist Geoffrey Pagen creates bold and earthy ceramic wall works with a broad range of color and gestural surface treatments.






cclark_Amass_2014(1)Nine Gallery Amass

An installation by Christine Clark, is an abstract interpretation of how a crowd can represent both detail and broad observation. Viewers have a choice of whether to get in close to analyze the hundreds of cast plastic sculptures of various sizes, or step back and let the details fade. Nine Gallery is an alternative exhibition space inside Blue Sky Gallery.



art uncensored

Cock GalleryCock Tease II

For provocative and intelligent erotic art, Cock Gallery director Paul Soriano is curating a group show of uncensored new work, including artists who have exhibited or will be shown this year.


Notable mentions for July include Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Blue Sky  Gallery, Duplex, Hellion, and BlackFish Gallery. Finally, here are the links to two great maps of the many galleries and art institutions of Portland that have great shows beyond the scope of this humble guide:

Portland Art Dealers Association Galleries and Alliance Members

Duplex Collective’s Gallery Guide*

Don’t forget to mention the shows you’re looking forward to below in the comments!

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